I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately. I recently read this article that I really enjoyed. It's awfully easy to be happy when things are going well but I think when you are feeling a bit beat up by life or when you are feeling stressed and have a hard time looking past whatever is challenging you, then it takes more effort to seek out the happiness. But it's always worth the effort.
I know personally that I am at my happiest when I am:
-Thinking positive thoughts about myself and others
-Making time to do the things I enjoy
-Living in a healthy balanced way
The first one really is the most important for me. If I am not focused on being thankful for all that I have, but am instead focused on whatever I don't have (and this can be material possessions but can really be anything), it is impossible to see the beauty in my right now. And I truly believe that no matter what, there is beauty to be seen in every moment. It is so much about how we train ourselves to think. It is easy to fall into a pattern with your thoughts and you can either choose to fall into a positive pattern or a negative one. My mom was a very negative person. I don't think she was always like that but it was so pronounced in her later years that it was honestly hard to be around her. The positive is that it gave me an awareness of such things that I might not have had otherwise, so that I could choose to not live like that.
So today I am taking a look around me and seeing how very much there is to be thankful for. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, there are freshly baked cookies, my book is waiting to be finished, I'm starting to feel better from the virus I caught last week, dinner on the front porch tonight with my big girl, a walk with the dog and scheduling a little beach getaway for this summer. So many things to fill me with gratitude.